FISHBURN Park played Norton WMC at Broomfield Park on Saturday with manager Al Price earmarking the game as one in which he hoped for three points to ease relegation worries.
With a squad of 19 to select from, he opted to reward the team that played so well against Grangetown BC two weeks earlier.
Unfortunately, too many of the Park players that started the game were well under par as the team struggled to come to terms with an away team that were physical but not the best that the Teesside League has to offer.
The problems were made worse in the seventh minute when a mistake in the home penalty area gifted the opening goal to the visitors.
From then on it was an uphill struggle for the home team.
Norton rarely threatened the home goal again in the half but Fishburn could not find a rhythm and the game deteriorated into a scrappy and feisty affair.
At half-time the home team had the riot act read to them.
However, the expected positive response to the coaching team’s motivation was not forthcoming and it was no surprise when the away team doubled their league 10 minutes into the second half.
This brought an immediate response from the manager as he made three substitutions.
The changes worked to some effect and Fishburn began to show a marked improvement at last.
Chasing the game to try to salvage something, the away defence was severely tested only to find Norton’s stand-in goalkeeper in superb form as he thwarted Park with six superb saves.
Park could not find a way through and Norton broke away in the last five minutes to score a third goal and win the game.
Fishburn’s performance in the first 55 minutes of the game was their undoing and left them with too much to do and an even harder task to survive relegation, especially as the next team to visit Broomfield Park is the current league-topping team, Acklam Steelworks. However, Park can draw some comfort in the knowledge they will never play that badly again this season and the fact they were the first team to take points off Acklam early in the season when they came away with a point in a thrilling 3–3 draw.
Fishburn Park 0 Norton WMC 3